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Baby at funeral

(62 Posts)
nillynoon Thu 13-Dec-12 11:11:10

Not sure what to do. A close family relative passed away this week, and the funeral will be next week. I am ebf my 6 week old baby and haven't expressed or tried a bottle of ebm.

The funeral will be a couple of hours away, so a fair bit of travelling.

I want to go, but am worried about the logistics of it all, and whether taking such a young baby is correct etiquette. I could feasibly just attend the wake rather than the full church service and interment.

So not so much aibu, rather more looking for advice/other people's experiences of babies and funerals so I can plan what's going to be best for everyone involved

quesadilla Thu 13-Dec-12 11:50:59

I took my dd to my step-grandmother's funeral at 3 months and it was OK but I made a point of checking with the organized (my aunt) that it was OK and also arrived early enough to position myself next to the door so I was able to step outside when she started grizzling. It just needs a bit of logistical planning and thought.

ToriaHosannaHeadacheChelsea Thu 13-Dec-12 12:07:11

We took my DS to my nana's funeral a few days after his first birthday. For some reason the verger insisted we sit as far from the door as possible but he slept through it all thankfully.

Feed as close as you can to the start of the service and sit somewhere you can leave if need be, but do go.

babybythesea Thu 13-Dec-12 12:08:00

I took my three month old DD to my god-fathers funeral.

We didn't live in the UK and had booked a flight home so the family could meet DD. He died a few days before we arrived - no extra flight costs to attend funeral but he missed meeting her by days (and for a lot of the family, the funeral was the first time they saw her which was a bit weird).

She slept the whole way through it, then got passed around at the wake and it was fine - people seemed to enjoy having something else to think about. Even his widow wanted to hold the baby and commented on how nice it was to have something so positive to think about on a difficult day.

EssexGurl Thu 13-Dec-12 12:56:58

We had exactly the same situation when DS was about 6 weeks, ebf and it was DH's grans funeral. I sat at the end of a pew in case I needed to get out - which I did about 5 mins before the end. He wasn't crying just a bit restless (he had colic so I was always on edge about this) and I felt it easier for me if I nipped out. DH's cousin was also outside with her 7 mo son! DH's aunt said she felt it was lovely that DS was there - celebrating one new life as well as mourning the end of another. It did break the ice at the wake as lots of DHs relatives got to meet him when they wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

I also took 7 yo and 3yo to my mum's funeral. They were both fine - I felt it important that 7yo esp went to say goodbye. Again, lovely for lots of old friends/relatives to catch up with them.

Please take him - you will feel better about going, baby will be fine and everyone will be delighted to coo over him.

catgirl1976geesealaying Thu 13-Dec-12 12:58:49

I took mine to my cousins

He was about 5 months I think and BF. It was a five hour train journey each way, most of which he slept through.

I think babies at a funeral are nice in a "circle of life" sort of way

Sorry for your loss

scuzy Thu 13-Dec-12 13:00:03

i would take them.

though i remember a funeral where a woman had hung herself while 6 months pregnant with twins and there was a new born (knew from the cry) at the funeral. was in very bad taste. i ended up leaving myself as was too upset and others remarked also. in that situation leaving the baby at home would have been better.

lustybusty Thu 13-Dec-12 13:03:40

At my grandma' funeral my then 18 month old cousin (no relation to grandma) was amazing to have around. To be fair, my gma loved him, he loved her (tho only met him once) and the only people who disapproved of him being happy at the crem were those who'd ignored her request of no black.... Id take the little one, sit at the back, and pass baby round (if you're happy with that) to cheer everyone up at the end....!!

Startail Thu 13-Dec-12 13:04:12

I've BF DD2 through a funeral and had DD1, who was 2.5 colour all over the order of service at DMILs.

BFing was fine, forgetting to find something for DD1 to do in the service was less fine.

All the people I knew at that end if the country were, of course, friends of the family and at the funeral.

She did lighten the mood which Granny would have approved of.

ABikeWithBellsOn Thu 13-Dec-12 13:06:04

My DD (3) came to my mom's funeral, and some of our friends also came with their young babies, who where absolutely fine.

TBH DD was the most disruptive (creid the whole way through) but that's because it was the first time she'd seen the coffin, and I think the reality of what we'd been explaining to her finally hit her.

I'm really sorry for your loss.

NannyEggn0gg Thu 13-Dec-12 13:08:07

Different opinion here.
Take the baby to the wake. It's a lovely thing to remind of new life whilst mourning the one who's passed and it does help to cheer people up.
But if you take to the funeral, even if prepared to leave if they start to cry, they've already disturbed the proceedings.
so personally, I don't like it.

AnitaBlake Thu 13-Dec-12 13:10:10

I took DD1 to my great aunts funeral when she was around six months, but MIL asked me not to take her to two other funerals around the same time. She started crying halfway through, and I latched her on, I'm sure the vicar winked at me at that point. It was lovely for everyone to meet her, and everyone was fighting over the baby to cuddle at the wake.

My cousin also took her three week old to her dads funeral.

I think unless they are at the stage whew they can't sit nicely for the duration of the service, children should be encouraged to attend, unless its a sensitive situation.

Pozzled Thu 13-Dec-12 13:12:56

Sorry for your loss.

Both my DDs were taken to funerals when babies- DD1 at about 9 months, DD2 at 9 months and 17 months. Each time it was no problem at all, they were all family occasions and provided a welcome distraction afterwards. And also a reminder of how much the deceased had been family-oriented.

I agree with sitting at the back and making sure you can leave easily if necessary, also try to feed them just before if possible.

MrsLyman Thu 13-Dec-12 13:13:46

DH's cousin brought her exbf baby to her Gramdad's funeral no one batted an eyelid. We also took our 18 month old DS to his great granny's funeral, he sat at the back with Great Aunt from otherwise of the family so they could take him out if required, everyone seemed to enjoy seeing him unless they were just being too polite to say.

I think a baby at an old person's funeral (of course provided you take them out if they grizzle) it rather lovely.

A baby at a baby's funeral is perhaps too cruel to the grieving family - but an old person's funeral, I think it's lovely actually.

Pippinintherain Thu 13-Dec-12 13:25:56

Take him.

My DS attended 4 funerals before he was 5 months old.

FryOneFatChristmasTurkey Thu 13-Dec-12 13:33:58

A few years ago I took mum to the funeral of a dear person, and had my 8 week old DS who was still EBF. Was poised ready to go outside in case, but he was fine and as others have said, a baby is often a nice distraction.

Previously DP and I took our then 11 mth old DD to his dad's funeral, and she sat happily and quietly on his knee throughout. His mum had wanted DD there, although DP's BIL had questioned her right to be there (MIL put him firmly into his place, it was what she wanted). My parents would have had her if it had been decided that she wasn't to go.

My son behaved himself at my mums funeral, slept all the way through, woke up for the wake and got a lot of positive attention. He only let out a little wimper, and no one noticed/was too bothered about it.
My aunt on the otherhand forgot to turn her mobile phone off, and got a rather loud text message in the middle of the reading. [Grin]

BlingBubbles Thu 13-Dec-12 13:56:18

Someone brought their baby to my MIL's funeral last year and then let her scream through out the last bit, it was absolutely awful and I had to stop my very distraught Dh from making a scene.... So if you take baby please leave if they start kicking up a fuss!

nillynoon Thu 13-Dec-12 14:45:02

I can't believe people would let their babies cry during a funeral service, there's just no excuse for it.

Ds3 7 months came to ds4s funeral, obviously it was different as my baby so my choice. I know that other people were glad he was there though. As it gave them something to focus on.

reastie Thu 13-Dec-12 15:22:57

I would take the baby, but, like others have said, sit somewhere with a quick get away if they wake up and cry. At a family funereal a couple of years ago I'll never forget a distant relative to the deceased turned up with a just crawling baby and let her moan and crawl all over the church the whole time - she was wailing so much we couldn't hear half of the eulogy angry . I don't think there's any problem with babies at funerals as long as they are taken out when appropriate. We've taken DD as a baby to 3 funerals but DH took her out of one when she made a little noise and we sat at the back. Most people didn't even realise until afterwards that she was there! I think other people like to have children/babies at these things in general, especially afterwards - it gives them something happy to look at and concentrate on.

Welovecouscous Thu 13-Dec-12 15:28:15

I generally wouldn't take a small baby in to the funeral but would take them into the wake.

I recently went to a funeral where a two month old became very unsettled - there was a lot of disruption as baby was carried out. For my great uncles funeral DH looked after DS and DS then came to the wake.

BUT for very close family as in this case and with a tiny ebf baby I would take baby to the funeral and just leave if necessary.

ENormaSnob Thu 13-Dec-12 15:39:22

I really don't like babies and young children at funerals tbh.

Teafairy Thu 13-Dec-12 15:45:27

I took my 5 week old EBF baby to my best friends funeral, it was fine. She was asleep for a lot of it and then just sat and looked around for the rest (apart from the enormous burp she did, that echoed around the church!!). I purposely sat at the back, near the door so I could make an exit if needs be, but luckily it didn't come to that. Everyone was fine with her being there and both my best friends Mum and BF said the burp was brilliant and my best friend would have been proud (really, she would). I think it's important to go and say goodbye, just be prepared to leave if the baby isn't happy or settled.

complexnumber Thu 13-Dec-12 15:54:39

I went to a funeral of a very much loved cousin last year.

The church backed onto the primary school she went to as a young girl in the 1950's, I found it really moving and reassuring to hear the children play as we were saying our last farewells.

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